Message has your From address, but you didn't send it

Situation

  • Your friends receive a message from you asking for help with a bank transfer.
  • You receive undeliverable notifications or replies from messages you never sent.
The problem is you never sent the message. Unfortunately, it's possible for someone else to send out emails using your email address. We'll look at a few of the methods used to do this and how to stop/prevent it from happening.

Possible Causes (and fixes)

  • Hacker gets into your mailbox.  This is common if you don't have a strong password or use the same password at other sites.  The fix is to change your password immediately.
     
  • A hacker is on your website and uses your web form.  Need to update security on web site.
     
  • Spammer gets your email address somehow (off a business card, web page) and uses it as the from address (spoofing).
     
  • A random person's PC gets infected with a virus. That person happens to have you in their contact list.  The virus sends out spam using addresses in their contact list and it uses your email as the 'from' address.
In order to try and determine which method is being used you'll need the headers to the bogus email.  This requires the original recipient to forward the email as an attachment to you.  Call TOAST.net and we will give you a special address to forward that message so we can analyze it.

Business Customers

These last 2 items above are the most difficult to stop, but there is technology (such as SPF and DKIM) that TOAST.net can add to your hosted email that can reduce/prevent abuse. Contact your TOAST.net account manager for details.

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